By Kristin Boza
Why go on vacation when there’s so much to do here in the neighborhood? There’s lots to experience throughout the summer; check out this guide to the perfect Beverly/Morgan Park Staycation.
Explore the Parks
Dan Ryan Woods (enter parking lots from Western Avenue between 83rd and 87th Streets). Explore all 257 acres of the Dan Ryan Woods. Aside from the well-known paved trails and sledding hill (which is also great for rolling down in the summer), take a step further into the natural areas to see native plants and migratory birds. Take a bike ride along the Major Taylor Trail, and enjoy a picnic in one of the many sheltered areas dotted throughout the preserve. Check the Cook County Forest Preserves District website for activities at the woods and other preserves. www.fpdcc.com.
Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St. While the playground is receiving a much-anticipated renovation to be completed by Sept.ember, families can still enjoy the fields surrounding the playground and paved trail. On Tues., July 17 at 8:15 p.m., grab a blanket and snacks and enjoy a screening of the Disney movie ‘Monsters, Inc.’
Kennedy Park, 11320 S. Western Ave. Numerous baseball/softball fields, a paved trail, and an enclosed playground make Kennedy Park a destination for every family member. Strap on some rollerblades and engage in a friendly roller hockey game at the Blackhawks Roller Hockey Rink located on the south side of the park building. The pool opens on Fri., June 15; visit the park district building to obtain a pool pass for Chicago residents.
Shakespeare in the Park at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Enjoy this free outdoor performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”, performed by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater actors on Tues., Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Ridge Park has an indoor pool, walking path, ball fields, a playground, a work-out room, and “artsy” options like the woodshop and ceramics studio.
Graver Park, 1518 W. 102nd St., offers fun activities inside and out. The fieldhouse has an auditorium, science lab and woodshop. Outdoors, there’s a water park, tennis courts, a playground and baseball and soccer fields.
Munroe Park, 2617 W. 105th St., offers sand volleyball and tennis courts, as well as baseball diamonds and a soft-surface running track. There is a theater program for adults and kids, including Theater and Arts and Crafts summer camps.
Experience Art, Music and History
“Quantum Me,” 99th and Walden Pkwy. Take a mind-bending photo in the reflective surface of this unique sculpture that people are already calling the Beverly Bean, then head over to Pizzeria Deepo, 1742 W. 99th St., for a deep dish pizza. Don’t forget to BYOB and request to sit in the outdoor garden.
Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival, 1817 W. 96th St. Plan to spend Sat., June 23 at the Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival — measure your walls before you come so you know what size painting to look for from the talented array of artists selling their creations. Stay to enjoy a tour of the Vanderpoel Gallery (located on the 2nd floor of the Ridge Park fieldhouse), food trucks, live music, and community camaraderie.
Live Music Mondays at BAC, 2407 W. 111th St. Beginning Mon., June 4 and ending on Mon., Aug. 6, head to the courtyard at the BAC from 7 to 9 p.m. to enjoy live music. A $5 donation is requested, and beverages are available for purchase.
Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Learn how our neighborhood came to be what it is today by learning about the past at Ridge Historical Society. The Ridge Historical Society is open Mon., Weds. and Fri. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Family Fun Nights (various locations). Geared toward the stroller set, enjoy kid-friendly music, food and more at BAPA’s Family Fun Nights, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursdays, June 14, 21 and 28. (look for an article with details elsewhere in this issue of The Villager.)
Beverly Hills Tennis Club, 9121 S. Hamilton, is a private club that opened in 1919 with one court, and now has 8 courts (4 of which are lighted for night play). The club also has platform tennis, a clubhouse and more. People interested in learning more can attend the open house, Sun., June 10, 1 to 7 p.m. There will be free mini-lessons, refreshments, a chance to play on the courts and information on the membership financing special. Info@beverlyhillstennisclub.com.
Morgan Park Sports Center, 11505 S. Western Ave. There’s something for everyone at MPSC. From yoga and fitness classes for adults, to gymnastics and hockey, sign up for summer sessions or drop-in classes. Afterwards, head across the street for a Chicago-style hot dog at the new Joey’s Red Hots to complete a perfect summer afternoon.
Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. Watch road racers tear through the streets of Beverly/Morgan Park at the annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic on Fri., July 20. Enjoy food trucks, craft beers, and activities for the kids to keep everyone entertained on a hot summer night. New location and race route at 101st and Longwood Drive!
Beyond Our Borders
One of the cool parts of living in Beverly/Morgan Park is how easy it is to jump on the Metra and head downtown. Metra offers $10 weekend passes for Saturdays and Sundays that can be used in conjunction with Metra family fares.